When You Don’t Know Anything…

Our brains are full with ideas, concepts, theories and knowledge. And we think we know a great deal about everything—about this life, this world, this universe, and even about gods. But, what do we really know? And how do we even know that what we know is true‽ How do we know? Really…

What do you know about yourself, forget about other exotic things like heaven and hell? That you are living and breathing right now. That you’ve grown up gradually, and eventually, you’ll die. Wait, do you even know that‽ You know, right? What else do you know? 

You may know a great deal about world history, geography, science, and even scriptures. All that is just information which you slowly gather. But Google knows more and better than you! So, really, what do you know about yourself? 

You’ve sought answers from books, people you think know better. But, it doesn’t take me to say, you’re still as confused as you were. No? 

Actually, we don’t know ANYTHING! Anything about this life. About ourselves. We only have theories and endless explanations; but no substantial insight. No real perception! Socrates had the guts to admit that he doesn’t know anything. 

I don’t know if you’ve realized this or not, no matter how far you stretch your thought, it doesn’t give you any damn insight! Only if your thought becomes a meditative process, you start gaining insights. Unless the mind turns into a ‘meditative monk’ from the current state of a ‘mad monkey’, there’s no light. How to do that? I don’t know. I am as ignorant as everybody else. The only difference, if there is any, is that I constantly question everything—even my thoughts and beliefs. Fools are always dead sure about everything! Only the truly intelligent ones are always in confusion, banging their heads and silently bleeding inside. I’m reminded of Tao Te Ching here. Lao Tzu writes—

"The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I lokk dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos.

Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a ride borderer. (Thus) I alone am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao)." [Fingerprint Classics edition.]

So, if you really come to this realization that whatever you know doesn’t even reflect one percent of what’s the actual reality out there, you’re hopelessly left with one option only—to be dumbfounded! All your nonsense shuts up! You sit like a fool—helpless, vulnerable. 

That vulnerability is necessary. Because we’ve protected ourselves with all kinds of self-made illusions. They need to break. When all your illusions fall apart, you’re in touch with Truth. And then, only silence remains. Impenetrable silence…

Thank you.
Image Credit: istockphoto.

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Alok Singha

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